Thursday, January 30, 2020

Food Irradiation Essay Example for Free

Food Irradiation Essay People all over the world are starving for fresh, uncontaminated food. Insects, pests, and invisible microorganisms are not what the public want to find on their dinner plates. Throughout history, life has depended on ways of treating food to reduce or destroy these naturally occurring harmful contaminants and to enable foods to be stored after harvesting so that they can be saved for use at other times of the year. With increasing populations and the growth of cities, it is even more important to be able to preserve food so that it can be transported over considerable distances and stored for long periods before it reaches the consumer. The relentless pressure to supply safe foods to mass markets has led to major contamination problems arising in recent years. The food industry has responded by developing new methods to treat food, such as food irradiation. To some in the food industry, irradiation is a wonderful new technology that could solve many contamination problems without any apparent effects on the treated food. To the consumer, it is a new process that has unknown threats and benefits. Currently, 37 countries, including the United States, permit the use of irradiation and approximately 25 actually use it. Irradiation will remain an expensive and little used technology until there is general acceptance of irradiated foods by consumers. The modern food industry has to make certain choices as to how and when it treats food during the food production cycle. It can start by reducing the level of microorganisms and pests in food by using chemical treatments and pesticides during growth. For this to be effective the food must then be protected against fresh contamination during transport and storage. An alternative approach is to do very little to the food as grown and harvested, but to treat it nearer to the point of consumption. This is common with herbs and spices. The food industry will tend to choose the way it deals with contamination based on the economics of each case, in other words, the cheapest way possible. Even where food is produced relatively close to the point of consumption, it may have to be treated because contamination is inherent in the production process. This is why milk has to be pasteurized. Pasteurization is the most effective way of killing microorganisms with minimal effect on the food itself. Unfortunately, pasteurization can only be used on a very limited range of foods. Poultry in much of the developed world is now infected with salmonella. In Europe, 75% of chicken sold is infected and in the US 60%. It is estimated that the US has some 2,000,000 cases of food poisoning as the result of consuming salmonella costing $2,540 million annually. Even in relatively advanced countries like the United Kingdom the authorities admit that the food contamination problem is out of control stating: the multiplicity of potential routes of contamination makes the elimination of microbiological contamination from poultry being presented for slaughter a virtual impossibility. This need not be the case as has been demonstrated in Sweden. There it has taken 20 years of ruthless killing of any flock with a salmonella infection to achieve 99% of flocks free of salmonella. Poultry costs more as a result but the Swedish authorities and consumers clearly believe this is worth paying. It has been known since the last century that living organisms can be damaged or killed by exposure to certain forms of radiation. The idea that radiation might be used to kill bacteria and other micro organisms in food was seriously proposed in the 1930s but the technology for producing radiation was too expensive and specialized for it to be used other than in experiments. The contamination problems mentioned above have led scientists to try to improve these techniques. The effects of irradiation on food vary much depending on the type of food and on the dosage level. Only a limited range of foods can be irradiated successfully, that is, leaving a food that is still wholesome enough to eat. The main types of food that can be irradiated are meats, seafood, fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices. In some foods the dose level is very critical, a slight overdose and the food acquires an unpleasant taste and texture. This is the case with eggs, for example. Everything in our environment, including food, contains trace amounts of radioactivity. This means that this trace amount (about 150 to 200 becquerels) of natural radioactivity (from elements such as potassium) is unavoidably in our daily diets. In countries where food irradiation is permitted, both the sources of radiation and their energy levels are regulated and controlled. The irradiation process involves passing the food through a radiation field at a set speed to control the amount of energy or dose absorbed by the food. The food itself never comes into direct contact with the radiation source. The maximum allowable energies for electrons and X-rays two machine-generated sources of radiation that can be used are 10 million electron volts (MeV) and 5 MeV, respectively. Even when foods are exposed to very high doses of radiation from these sources, the maximum level of induced radioactivity, or radioactivity left present in the food, would be just one-thousandth of a becquerel per kilogram of food. This is 2,000,000 times smaller than the level of radioactivity naturally present in food. There are many advantages to using irradiation to process food, for instance: it can kill insects and pests that infest food without harming the food itself. Irradiation can also kill or greatly reduce the levels of microorganisms such as salmonella and listeria. Irradiation also stops normal ripening and decay processes so that foods can be stored longer, as well as sterilizing foods making them fit to eat for sickly patients in hospitals. Currently the FDA allows electron beam irradiation for meat, grains, fruits and vegetables, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, spices, seasonings, eggs, sterilizing medical products, such as surgical gloves, destroying bacteria in cosmetics, and purifying wool. If the food industry could have its way (the way most profitable for them), the only foods that would not be irradiated would be seafood, dairy (which is pasteurized), honey, coffee, chocolate, and oils (fats become rancid easily because of the free radical creation, so they wont be irradiated if they could be eaten raw). Baked goods and dried legumes do not need irradiation. The advantages to food irradiation cannot be far in front of the disadvantages so here they are. Irradiation can only be used on a very limited range of foods, and it is expensive when it is being used. Irradiation also affects some important parts of a persons diet like the level of vitamin E. When irradiation is used, the level of vitamin E can be reduced by twenty-five percent and vitamin C by five to ten percent. Recommended doses of radiation will not kill all of the microorganisms. Ninety percent of the germs and none of the viruses are killed so after the irradiation the food still has to be treated with care to avoid rapid reproduction by the remaining microorganisms. Irradiating foods can also cause new substances that were not in the food before. These substances are called radiolytic products, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and lipid peroxides. While not radioactive themselves, there is considerable controversy over whether these products are dangerous. Some opponents of food irradiation state that if irradiation is put into wider use, people may become more careless about sanitation in food production facilities. Irradiation does not kill all the bacteria in a food and in a just few hours at room temperature, the bacteria remaining in meat or poultry after irradiation can multiply to the level existing before irradiation. Some bacteria, like the one that causes botulism, as well as viruses and prions (which are believed to cause Mad Cow Disease) are not killed by current doses of irradiation. Free-market economists say irradiation is efficient, that it provides the cheapest possible food for the least possible risk. However, these economists are not concerned about the impaired nutritional quality of the food. They are not considering the environmental effects of large-scale corporate farming, the social costs of centralization of agriculture and loss of family farms, the potential long-term damage to human health, and the possibility of irradiation-resistant super-bacteria. If irradiation is to be more widespread, a cheap and reliable detection system should be developed for monitoring organizations to use. The UN should also establish as set of skeletal regulations to ensure that every county irradiating consumer goods is labeling them as such. The priorities of worldwide governments should also be focused on farming clean, thereby eliminating contaminants as thoroughly as possible from the production chain, rather than killing off the harmful organisms at the last stage of production with radiation. Clearly, the public needs to become better educated about the food we are buying. Too many times do we go into supermarkets and buy things because of their price, without really taking a good look the package, and put our trust solely in the people who are trying o turn a buck. While reading about the problem of food irradiation, I was reminded of the novel The Jungle where the greed of people like Gustavus Swift turned meat-packing plants into death traps and sold ground cardboard, rats, and fingers to the public as ? fresh meat while sweeping the floors of the plant to recover the sliced-off bits and package them as potted meat. Clearly the food industry is driven by capitalism, and not by concern for the consumer, and although I am wholeheartedly in favor of capitalist businesses, I do think federal regulation needs to come into play not just in the United states, but in other countries where most of the people have no legal recourse at all if they fall ill or die as the result of unclean food. Education of the consumer is the key to this problem, as is objective research. Governments around the world should be made to adhere to guidelines recommended by people whose main concern is the safe and healthy production of food, instead of the cheapest way to produce it, or what would be best for the businesses already irradiating food, as is the case for the federal government. Without measures taken during all aspect of food production to ensure cleanliness, the consumer is doomed to a lifetime of choices between dirty food, and dirtier food.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Nature of Bryants Poems :: Biography Biographies Essays

The "Nature" of Bryant's Poems Most of the poems in our anthology are ruminative poems about the nature of nature and the nature of life. The key word within his works is simply "nature". He uses works of nature to express his works of art. He meticulously chose objects to which everyone could relate, transforming them into ideas and expressions of his mission. This expression is evident throughout the poetry. "Thanatopsis" revolves around the issues of life and death, using nature as their common ground to describe the overall message. "The all-beholding sun shall see no more in all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, where they pale form was laid, with many tears, nor embrace of ocean, shall exist they image" ( Bryant 2673 ). He vividly paints the picture of oneà ­s death and thus a lack of life. He goes on to depict the earth and her surroundings as manà ­s eternal tomb, expressing all that will be left behind when man leaves this world. "The vulnerable woods - rivers that move in majesty, and the complaining brooks that make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Oceanà ­s gray and melancholy waste, - are but the solemn decorations all of the great tomb of man" ( Bryant 2673 ). He continually demonstrates this behavior throughout the rest of the piece, solidifying his intricate pattern towards nature. Bryantà ­s love of nature is overtly expressed within "The Yellow Violet". He paints the picture of a peaceful Spring day, describing the flower and its place within the structure of the season. I found it interesting how he alluded to the "April showers bring May flowers" beginning with line 21 by saying "Oft, in the sunless April day, they early smile has stayed my walk; but midst the gorgeous blooms of May, I passed the on they humble stalk" ( Bryant 2675 ). However, I did feel as if he could have written this about his love of a relationship, not just his love for nature. What do you think? "The Prairies" focuses on his personal look at nature, through his eyes. This piece gives one a first-hand look at Bryanà ­s compassion for all things, great and small. He takes the reader on a journey, looking at individual pieces existing in nature, and taking note of their importance and placement in life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

How Does Orwell Explore the Theme of Education in ‘Animal Farm’?

How Does Orwell Explore The Theme Of Education In Animal Farm? ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. George Orwell writes this toward the end of his highly acclaimed allegory, Animal Farm. From this single statement we can tell quite a bit about Orwell’s views on education which he puts across strongly throughout the novel. A message I see that this statement portrays is that everyone has the right to an education but some people were getting a better education than others at the time.During this essay I will be arguing that George Orwell was critical of the education system in 1945 (the year the book was written) and that he aired his views, hidden as they were, in many places through the book. One of the ways he used to put across his views was to use biblical references. Orwell was strongly anti-Christianity and he put this across in the novel partly through his reference to the bible’s ten commandments by creating a list o f rules that the animals must live by entitled ‘The Seven Commandments’. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause’. The last two words were added by Squealer under the orders of Napoleon, adding their own twist on Old Major’s original commandments thus tweaking them to their advantage. This was not the only commandment to be edited: in fact all of them were but only slightly, just enough so the pigs wouldn’t be breaking any and so the other animals wouldn’t notice. The pigs were able to use the fact that they were educated well as an advantage over the other animals in order to do what they liked and get away with it.The fact that Orwell used the commandments in this way, just that the pigs were changing them so regularly seemed to me rather disrespectful of the Christian faith and when seen like this, Orwell’s religious views are blatantly obvious. From this part of the book I remembered being taught about priests in the An glo-Saxon times and how they had been educated well before beginning their ministry. They would ask for money from the innocent but fairly foolish and uneducated people worshipping or just visiting the church and the priests would say if they hand over the money, they would avoid purgatory and go straight to heaven.To these poor people, this seemed like the perfect solution for the problem and hand over their money is just what they did. This links in with the book in that the priests would use the fact that they were educated in their favour to brainwash these unknowing people just as the pigs did to the other animals in the book. Another element of education Orwell is critical of is the private education system. ‘The pigs and dogs were educated separately to the other animals’.This brings in Karl Marx’s ideas of class and hierarchy in society. Marx’s writings formed the theoretical base for modern international communism, the idea of a classless society in which everyone is equal and nothing is privately owned. As we know Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian revolution in 1917 during which Joseph Stalin (portrayed in the novel as Napoleon) and Leon Trotsky (Snowball) fought for power after the defeat of Tsar Nicholas II and the monarchy.When Stalin came to power and exiled Trotsky, he began to form the new Soviet Union around the basis of Marx’s writings and the fact that the pigs and dogs were educated separately to the other animals shows that before Stalin’s seizure of power, class and hierarchy still remained in Russia. The pigs and dogs represent the nobles and government who were all seen as superior to the lower, working class citizens and were therefore privately educated.If there was to be equality amongst the animals on the farm, they should all have been treated exactly the same and this would mean they should be educated in the same way. However, this wasn’t what happened and the pigs and dogs continued to see themselves as better than the other animals. Orwell really wasn’t a fan of the private education system, as I said at the beginning; he wanted an education for everyone and the same education for everyone at that. Orwell continues to represent class on the farm through the character of Boxer.Boxer represents the lower, working class who were uneducated and inferior to the nobles and government, in this case the pigs and dogs. ‘I will work harder. ’ and ‘Napoleon is always right. ’ his mottos show just how loyal and hard-working he was. Boxer would work and work until he was at the point of collapsing and this is just what the working class of Russia would do, slaving away their today for a better tomorrow. Boxer is key in building the windmill, which represents change, the change that Boxer wants to bring to the farm through his hard work and determination.Boxer may have had all these credits but what Orwell uses Boxer to say is that no matter how physically strong you are, it’s nothing compared to knowledge and mental strength. When Napoleon tells Boxer he is to retire after he collapsed whilst working, Boxer naively gets on the van that is not really to take him to where he will retire, but to the knackers’ yard to be killed. Even though Boxer was so driven and committed in what he did, he wasn’t able to spot that Napoleon was tricking him because he wasn’t nearly as well educated as Napoleon.So to cut a long story short, the fact that Boxer was poorly educated eventually lead to his demise. The pigs as we know by now, were the best educated but they gradually demoralise through the novel. ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. This quote for me epitomises the whole part the pigs play in the book in that the great advantage they once had over the other animals because they were educated had now just become plain ignorance. Orwell uses the pigs in Animal Farm to tell us not to let education go to our heads but to respect it and appreciate it.Not only this but Orwell also wanted to tell us through the pigs the dangers of power and to appreciate it also. The pigs wanted to look like they strived for equality, to look like they were doing things for the good of everyone when really everything they said and did was for the benefit of themselves. Almost all of the seven commandments had something to do with the importance of not letting the pigs’ ways become human, which is exactly what had happened by the end of the book. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which’. That the pigs had changed so much the other animals couldn’t identify them amongst the humans is pretty shocking. One of the most important points of the whole ideology of Animalism (which allegorically speaking refers to communism) is t hat the animals should always remain animals and never adopt human characteristics like drinking alcohol or sleeping in a bed and these rules were all layed out clearly in the seven commandments.In conclusion, George explores the theme of education in Animal Farm in many ways. He uses the allegory to refer to the different classes through different characters and how the classes were educated differently, some not at all. He uses Boxer to compare physical strength with mental strength and he also uses the pigs to warn us of the dangers of letting education ruin us and our morals. Animal Farm is a tragedy in my eyes; the original ideology of Animalism gradually fell apart piece by piece until the pigs had practically become human.It’s all well and good to have this great idea of a revolution to gain equality for animals but the pigs just couldn’t see past themselves to carry out Old Major’s plan and that’s what makes this story so tragic. Orwell thought th at everyone deserved an education, especially the working class but the people who actually got a good education just took it for granted and wasted it and I think that’s the overall point he tries to put across about education in the novel. Education is power but power corrupts. By James Lawrence, J7.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Put Forward By Un Is A Challenge For Every Country

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